Bridgend 0-1 Clifton Robinson’s
Bridgend dominated proceedings but were unable to convert their chances, time after time Bridgend entered the opposition ‘D’ but chances went begging each time as the ball moved agonisingly wide of the goal on every occasion. Robinsons had two meaningful attacks. One requiring a strong save from Adrian Hibbert, which was duly cleared up by Matt Wooster, the other resulted in a dubious goal. Paul Jones caused hoagie attacking down the left but still Bridgend were unable to break the deadlock. Tom Pearce came close late on, but his deflection would not find the target once again. Missed opportunities have proven very costly for the Ravens who need to rectify their mistakes in training.
Bridgend ladies 1s 1-2 Gowerton
Starting with Bridgend’s push back, the ladies started strong with a solid formation and a tenacious approach. They fought hard, but conceded a goal in the first ten minutes. This didn’t however impact their fighting spirit, as they continued to push forward. With some great play down the line from Annie Bourne, Katie Roberts and Tanya Harrison, the ball was crossed to Mel Geddes for Michelle Hancock to score a well deserved goal. As the game continued, there were multiple intense battles between players and great encouragement from the supporters at the sideline. Sadly though, after a strong defensive effort, Bridgend conceded another goal in the second half from an deflection off a stick. The final result was 2-1, an unlucky defeat.
Bridgend 2nd’s v Cardiff Mets 5th’s
Bridgend started well with a strong core partnership of Jo Poupon up front, Chessie Jarvis and Sherry Shawcross mids and Charlie Morris as bottom diamond ensuring most of the play in the first quarter stayed in the opposition half. Casey Smith and Catrin Stephens combined well and then Catrin dribbled the ball from the 25mtr line into the opposition’s D and won the first short corner of the match. Jo pushed the ball in to Charlie to shoot and along with Casey Smith and new comer Alyce Phillips followed up on the save from the keeper to score. The Mets sneaked a goal to even the score and then a 50/50 ball ricocheted onto Charlie’s cheek and nose causing an injury break in play whilst Charlie left for treatment.
When play restarted both teams had changed their line up and the Mets strengthened team scored a couple of quick goals.
The second half saw a return to a stronger performance at the start from Bridgend, with the defence team of Liz Pearce, Pauline Harrison, Player of the match, Cerys Richards and Keeleigh Thomas combining well with mids Lauren Hancock and Maddie Gibbons to keeping out a barrage of Mets attack along with keeper Lowenna Radcliffe, before the skill in their scorers broke through. At the front Angharad Kitchener, Maia Riley and Charlie continued to combine well and had several moments which could have easily turned into goals.
The final score didn’t do justice to the overall strong performance of every member of the Bridgend Team.
Final score Bridgend 2nds 1 Cardiff and Met 5ths 7
Bridgend ‘C’ 5 – 1 Gwent ‘C’
Gwent ‘C’ arrived at fortress Pencoed with 7 youngsters, most under the age of 15. Bridgend ‘C’ themselves fielded 4 and (here’s the time travel bit) I confidently predict that all of them, Gwent and Bridgend, will go on to sustain their clubs and contribute to success for years to come. In fact, my time travelling means that I have already seen a future in which today’s youth players enjoy the game so much that some of them will play for Wales, some will become club captains, some will be club stalwarts and some will become so enamoured that they will meet their wives through hockey and provide the next generation of players. Isn’t that cool?
The Gwent youngsters gave Bridgend an authentic late Halloween fright from the first whistle with the speed of their assaults and skill of their dribbling, but resolute tackling from, in particular, your correspondent’s man-of-the-match, Barnaby Millgate, meant that the Bridgend goal remained unbreached. Meanwhile, in a classic sucker punch on the counter attack, Bridgend scored through the hard work of young Steve Mansell setting up Dom Glynn for an experts’ goal.
Halftime allowed Bridgend to consider how they could improve and the second half demonstrated their commitment to fast, accurate passing and use of width to give Gwent a torrid time. 4 Bridgend goals from John Catton (2), and Capt Schofield (2) rather flattered the score line in Bridgend’s favour but were testament to the excellence of movement and possession that simply wore down Gwent. Special mention to the Gwent 13 year old who managed to weave through the entire Bridgend defence to score a memorable consolation goal.
An opening game draw against Penarth B was followed by a blisteringly good win against Gwent ‘B’ with the Bridgend players following the coach’s 4 key rules – play with a smile, encourage one another, use the width of the field and work like a Wolfpack. The ball was fairly whizzing across the green beize of AstroTurf from stick to stick, all players working to find space and passes and then combining as one to snuff out any attacks. Heady stuff that had the capacity crowd on their feet throughout.
A third game against a very strong, fast and skilful Swansea team saw Bridgend concede a single goal whilst creating a succession of chances that just wouldn’t go in. A narrow loss but a further confirmation of how good Bridgend could be. Another victory against Gwent followed before a final game against a powerful and skilful Penarth A, which many pitch side parent commentators (your correspondent apart) felt would be very tough for Bridgend.
Bridgend didn’t listen to their parents (no surprise there – these are teenagers) and tore into Penarth, frightening their opponents with pace and passing and displaying a bravery in defence which was truly inspiring. Penarth scored a good goal but Bridgend heads didn’t drop and they equalised with a terrific goal that went the whole length of the pitch. Special mention of the best multiple goal keeping save that your correspondent has ever seen on a hockey field in over 40 years of playing the game.
Final results were P5, W2, D2, L1. Brilliant!
Credit to every player, all of whom contributed mightily at some stage, and the genuine camaraderie and enjoyment that they produced.
Well done to Owe, Beez, Bims, Benno, Tris, Stoods, Louie, Henry, Lew and Ad – you were all sensational.